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Penn Medicine's new center for personalized diagnostics unlocks cancer's secrets
Date:4/5/2013

daunorubicin. Learning this type of information prior to beginning treatment can help oncologists select and dose drugs in a way that will reduce side effects and boost patients' quality of life during treatment and increase their chance of completing their prescribed regimen.

  • Identifying patients who are likely to have a poor prognosis if treated with first-line therapies, which allows clinicians to set up a cascade of alternative therapies or, in the case of some blood cancer patients, expedite the search for a matching bone marrow donor.

  • Detecting resistance mutations that could slow or halt patients' response to targeted drugs, which allows for custom-designed combination therapies to attack tumors through multiple pathways.

    The Center's research agenda operates in parallel with its clinical care mission. Each patient's test results will add to an enormous repository of genomic mutation profiles that, combined with the ability to follow patients over time, will help clinical researchers identify new markers and mutation profiles to better predict the course of an individual patient's treatment response and suggest new targets for therapy. As new mutations are detected and novel treatment options are identified, the gene testing panels will be modified and expanded, creating an evolving, real-time mutation profiling option.

    "We see 11,500 newly diagnosed patients each year in the Abramson Cancer, and hundreds of others who seek our help when their cancers have not responded, or have returned, after receiving standard therapies elsewhere," said Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD, director of the Abramson Cancer Center. "A key part of our mission is to provide each of these patients these tests as soon as possible, so that we can quickly tailor a treatment regimen that provides them the greatest chance of a cure."


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  • Contact: Holly Auer
    holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu
    215-200-2313
    University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
    Source:Eurekalert

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